The senior producer of NBA 2K19 believes that microtransactions are “an unfortunate reality of modern gaming.” In a recent interview, Rob Jones discussed the changes to the basketball series’ own microtransactions, as well as the further-reaching consequences of in-game currency in general.
In the interview, Jones is specifically discussing VC, which is the NBA series’ free in-game currency. 2K caught some flack from fans last year, as they felt that progression was hindered by a punishing grind. When quizzed, Jones said that the currency “is an unfortunate reality of modern gaming.”
Speaking to Trusted Reviews, Jones went on to explain himself further: “every game, at some point, in some way has currency and they’re trying to get additional revenue from each player that plays the game. You know, the question has to be ‘when does it feel like it’s a straight money grab versus when does it feel like it’s value added,’ right?” It’s a very frank admission about what both players and developers are expecting to get out of a service game.
Jones goes on to suggest that most people “don’t have the patience to work their way to the top. They just wanna be there right away.” You can present the grind as an option, as almost all games now do, but you also need to allow people a way to jump the line, if that’s what they want.
2K’s microtransactions made headlines earlier this week, as it was revealed that the company is encouraging Belgian players to contact their government to reinstate lootboxes in NBA 2K19. As it stands, the game will launch in Belgium without card packs in place, as the Belgian Gaming Commission states that they violate the company’s gambling laws. 2K disagrees, clearly, and is hoping their community will side with them. NBA 2K19 releases on September 11.